City of Chicopee celebrates organ donation, declares April as Donate Life Month

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass (WWLP) – The mayor of Chicopee joined New England Donor Services at City Hall Monday morning to celebrate how the lives that organ donation has saved.

According to City of Chicopee Spokesperson Nathan Moreau, Mayor Richard Kos was joined by New England Donor Services and other officials to proclaim the month of April to be Donate Life Month in Chicopee.

Also in attendance were individuals whose lives were personally impacted by organ donation including Lauren Meizo who received a heart transplant and Scott and Kim Meyer, a married couple who met while waiting for organ transplants.

“Sitting in the hospital the last year waiting for my second heart transplant and my first kidney, I never would have thought a year ago today, I’d be outside raising the flag,” Meizo said. “It’s an honor to be chosen to raise the flag.”

Moreau said 99 percent of Massachusetts residents are registered as organ and tissue donors.

Meizo became something of an internet sensation one year ago, when New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski paid a surprise visit to his number one fan in a Boston Hospital, where she was waiting for an organ donor.

Heart transplant recipient Kevin LeBeau of Chicopee treasures the picture of the young man whose donated heart now beats in LeBeau chest and has since 2015.

“Without this man right here frankly, I would never even have been here today,” LeBeau. “He’s Frankie from Rayland, Ohio. He’s my hero and his son who just turned five, always reminds me he’s a year younger than me.”

In 2018 over 1159 lives were saved in New England because of organ donors and thousands of lives were enhanced because of tissue donation.

New England donor services hope everyone registers as an organ donor through the registry of motor vehicles. You can have it right on your driver’s license. Mayor Kos proudly displayed his registration as an organ donor.

Donate Life month in Chicopee is an opportunity to educate communities on the importance of organ donation, according to Moreau, as over 113,600 patients across the country are on the transplant wait list.

For more information on how to register or be a donor click here

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